Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

Something fairly common in children under 16 is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis but what is it and what symptoms might you be looking for.

What Is Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis is often called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. This kind of arthritis causes inflammation as well as stiffness of the joints for more than 6 continuous weeks in children aged 16 and younger.

This type of inflammation will cause the joints to swell and feel very warm and they will very often have some redness to them. Pain can also be present but this is not as common as the swelling and inflammation causing limited mobility in your swollen joints.

It is not clear what triggers Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis but it is considered to be a virus that will set off the already present, rheumatoid arthritis, genetics.

Just like with rheumatoid arthritis the body will attack its own cells which will cause the inflammation.



Symptoms Of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

This type of inflammation will cause the joints to swell and feel very warm and they will very often have some redness to them. Pain can also be present but this is not as common as the swelling and inflammation causing limited mobility in your swollen joints.

I remember having swollen index fingers, in the beginning it was just one and then both of them became swollen. I started experiencing eczema, which is also a common symptom of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is combination with swollen joints.

A child suffering from this might also get fevers and it can also affect their hearts, lungs, eyes and nervous system.

I never suffered any pain from it at first, it was when I turned 16 that the swelling spread as well as the pain increased.



Types Of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

There are three different types of Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis;

Pauciarticular, Polyarticular and Systemic.

Pauciarticular: This type affects larger joints such as knees with four or lesser joints involved, and this is more likely to affect girls under the age of eight. The children affect by this type might also experience some eye problems. Many of the children diagnosed with this will grow out of both the joint symptoms but also the eye problems.

Polyarticular: This type affects smaller joints such as fingers and toes, it can also affect larger joints, and usually has five or fewer joints affected. With this type it usually affects both sides in the same way, if you have a joint that is inflamed in your left-hand then it is very likely that the same joints will be affected in the right hand as well. This form might be more severe if it is combined with they have the antibody in their blood called the rheumatoid factor. It is more similar rheumatoid arthritis found in adults.

Systematic: This form of Rheumatoid arthritis will, alongside joint swelling, bring fever and a rash, it can also affect the heart, lymph nodes, liver and the spleen. This form of rheumatoid arthritis is also called “Still´s disease” and if it continuous into adulthood it can be quite severe and you can develop inflammation in many of your joints.

If you do have the rheumatoid factor in your blood it is more likely that the illness will continue into adulthood.

Treatment For Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

The treatment for JRA is similar to that of adults. With children physical activity is highly recommended alongside medication. To relieve any pain you will typically be recommended an anti-inflammatory, over the counter, pain relief such as ibuprofen.

You might also be advised to start a treatment with methotrexate and needed to go and get your blood levels monitored once a month, in the form of a blood test. This is to measure the inflammation process in your body.

If you have a more severe form or are experiencing high inflammation and pain you might be offered to try biological injections such as humira or enbrel. They are often used in combination with Methotrexate.

To quickly reduce the inflammation you might also be offered steriod injections or tablets.

The tablets might be used for 1-3 months depending on the severity of the inflammation and the injections you get into your joints and they will reduce the inflammation and pain within a few days.



Conclusion

If you have noticed your child suffering from symptoms as the once above, in combination with pain and swelling do not hesitate to contact your GP as it is beneficial to find it sooner rather then later. The inflammation occurring in the joints might leave permanent damaged if not treated.

Also, be advised to look over your diet as processed foods and food containing sugars, gluten and other allergens might also affect the symptoms and pain caused by Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

If you have any questions or comments then please drop them down below and I will get back to you.

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4 thoughts on “Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatments

  1. Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis is heartbreaking when it hits young people. My cousin has a version of it and she is in almost constant pain 24/7. Even when she is smiling we know she is in pain, but she is brave and strong and keeps moving forward with her life. I’m going to forward this page to her. By the way, what juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis treatment would you recommend for a young woman? Does one stand out to you? Thanks.

    1. Hi,

      Most people with r.a. are in almost constant pain, especially when not treated. 

      I would recommend trying to change her diet, before any other treatments as the side effects can be quite severe.
      Otherwise, the biological medications has had great success and can really make a difference in life quality.

  2. Hello Alex, thank you for sharing such nice article. Inflammation knows no age limits and can be caused by lots of activities we involve ourselves in, from sport to overworking a particular part of our body. However,  this form of arthritis is very much new to me and I can imagine how painful it feel for such young people to have a stiffen muscle/joint.  I have never experienced it myself, but I will share with others so they can take note of it in their siblings and kids. Best regards.

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